A Girl’s Dream Come True

I took this job on in the beginning of the summer, she was 11 and eager for a new room and I was 30 eager to feel young, just kidding, I needed the money, I’m joking, I’m a well rounded designer and took this job because I was excited to do something feminine, youthful and transitional. So I posted about the room and the concept when I first started and you can find that post here. Now I want to show you all the finished product of a project that I am so excited about and if I didn’t like the client so much, I would physically push them out of the room and take it over as my own. The process of creating a bedroom is fairly straight forward. I first meet with client, in this case I met with the 11 year old and her parents, we spoke about what doesn’t work for her anymore and what she would like to see in the room. I took measurements and notes like a good designer does and we were on our way. I came back to them two weeks later with three options for the room, each option offering the same concept in a different form. We spoke about what works, we chose items, then ordered the items. So once that’s done, we wait for things to come and then installation happens, first the floor then the lighting, then a built in closet and then the magical, amazing wallpaper went up and furniture came in.

Even with a project this exciting and beautiful there are times we need to redirect, the bed was originally supposed to go in between the swings, turns out, it fits but its a little tight on the sides, so we switched the bed for the chase. the bed came a little damaged (bummer) so I called company and they’re sending a replacement, in a month, another bummer. We need to coat the floors with a semi gloss finish because the raw & rustic wood floors are beautiful, but not amazing against her 11 year old feet. They’re still young and delicate.

This is what the room looks like walking in. The day bed anchors one side, while the chase anchors the other side. The mirror is a pocket door into the closet.

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This is the room with the LED lights off, it’s less bright and has a very romantic feeling, the pendant also stands out more which I like.

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Here’s a shot of the closet door open, another pendant is in there to create symmetry. The while panel on top of the opening is another LED light, which comes in handy on Shabbos, you can slide the door open & shut when you need light and when you don’t.

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I love these swings so much! It’s so fun for her to have friends over now. The swings also help keep the room from feeling too mature.

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I placed this ladder there to add some interest and another layer. My 11 year old client wasn’t exactly sure what to do with it though, so design wise great decision, practicality wise I should probably return it before they damage it.

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Tell me, whats your favorite part of this room? Was it different to see a room from me that wasn’t more masculine or with something woven hanging on the wall? Let me know your thoughts, I’m open to all positive feedback and mildly open to neutral feedback. Thanks in advance.

 

A Girl’s Dream

You all know I’ve been working on a big, big office space which is hopefully going to be done soon and then I can show you all that I do in fact work during the day. The good news, this office space I’m working on has a client and this client has a daughter. The good news isn’t that he has a daughter, because a lot of kids suck, the good news is that his daughter is turning 11 and wants a complete make over for her room.

It’s safe to say this room needs a makeover fast. There is so much pink it’s blinding to me, the flower decals, the heart shaped mirror the character bedding, zebra curtains, all of it needs an update. I came up with a floor plan and furniture plan for this bedroom.

Option A; Secret Garden

Option B; Soft & Feminine

Option C; Naturally Romantic

So I came up with three plans for the room, they’re all move in different directions but have the same under current style which is soft, nature inspired and laid back.

After meeting for the consultation, drawing up floor plans, coming up with furniture options & presenting them to the client ( the 11 year old ) we’re going with option A; Secret Garden. I love wicker and swings and sheepskin and murals and bamboo lights. When I took on this project, I was feeling a little hesitant to deliver a “girly” and transitional space. I don’t typically work with pastel colors and frills, but this turned out really pretty and I’m VERY excited to get started! I am feeling a lot of positive things right now.

Next up on the agenda- new flooring and built in closet- how much do we all love/ hate this 11 year old?

 

The Birth of CW Design

Over the last couple of months I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with work. Decisions that used to come to me naturally, were now things I agonized over. I was feeling a little lost, not confident in my abilities as a designer and as a result not feeling efficient at my job. I would be having a consultation with a client, thinking to myself, “When should I tell them that I’m not really good at this anymore and I’m thinking to take up tap dancing.” I wasn’t sure why there was this shift for me, maybe it was that I was taking on too many jobs so I wasn’t able to be as creative as I wanted to be with each one. Maybe it was the pressure to “preform” on social media & “get myself out there” which I was struggling with. I’m not a very loud person at all. I think before I speak and when I do finally speak, I don’t use any extra words. I literally only use the amount of words needed and nothing more. So putting myself out there in this fun and unfiltered way felt very uncomfortable. Interior design on Instagram is also hard to live up to. Every space looks really pretty & styled & bright which in reality takes so much time, money & effort. I could create five amazing spaces that when photographed didn’t look right because there wasn’t heavy streams of natural light coming through the windows. Most of my clients don’t live on hilltops (hashtag goals) and filtered interior spaces cheapen the look of the room. So I wasn’t having an easy time showcasing my work on Instagram. For a while I was done with social media and ready to get rid of it all – I was going to live my life free of any social media pressures. Of course, secretly I was scrolling through Instagram to make sure I didn’t miss out on any of my friends updating their lives, looking like a koala bear. My husband and I were hanging out one night, I was going on about how I’m above it all & I’m the only one truly being present (those words “truly being present” is starting to sound so pretentious these days, but my thoughts on that for another post) and he looked at me and said “you’re really above it all or do you just want more likes?” How dare he suggest I don’t have 100% pure intentions while I cleanse myself of social media. I denied it and called him a bunch of profanities but then I got tired and admitted my deep secret to this man I lived with.

I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine, telling her I’ve failed at life and if she was a real friend she would hand me a knife, and she told me I’m having some growing pains & it’s time to change things up – time for a new name. “Designs by Chana is cute, but you need something stronger. It’s easier to refer a friend to CW Design than to Designs by Chana and that’s the goal right?” Which got me thinking, she’s right. Designs by Chana is great until you start going to show rooms or trade shows and stand there uncomfortably while people try to pronounce the second half of your business name, “you gotta just get right in there with the chhh..” Finding something that was catchy & easy would help me feel more confident among new clients and companies & it would also give me more staying power, it’s something that will last. So once I turned the negative, narcissistic head space into a productive way to grow and become more of who I wanted to be, things started to fall into place again. Having said that, it was really hard for me to do because typically I LOVE the negative, narcissistic head space. (Btw I’m keeping my friend anonymous  because I think I already gave her enough credit, letting you all know this whole very personal, introspective change came from her..)

Right now, I’m working on a few different jobs that I love and I’m also preparing for the future, trying to execute new ways to run my business that feels efficient and creative. This feels like a good opportunity to look back on the past 6 years & talk about some really good choices and of course some really not good choices;

Let’s start with a really not good choice,

This was one of my first jobs, I was designing a bedroom that needed to transition into a more mature space and double up as a guest room. The design of the room was simple, layered and playful. The focal point of the room was this art-deco inspired black and white wallpaper. This job was a lower budget job, so that meant two things- the handyman/ installation guy (let’s call him Joe) wasn’t as experienced as I would of liked him to be and because of the lower budget the wallpaper was self adhesive which seemed responsible at the time. It started off looking good & then Joe started having trouble applying it smoothly. We started to see a lot of air bubbles form, so first we tried flattening them out which led to a lot of creases in the wallpaper, so then we tried taking off the wallpaper and reapplying it. The more we tried the worse it got, before we knew it, the wallpaper started to look like one big ball of garbage – and we had a whole wall to cover. There I was standing with a huge ball of crumbled wallpaper that was sticking to everything because it was self adhesive so when I tried kicking it around out of frustration, I just ended up limping out of the room with a ball of wallpaper stuck to my shoe. The really exciting part was the client being there to witness me in that moment, made it that much more memorable. In the end, I ran out to get a really big canvas and laid the remaining wallpaper onto the canvas & we used that for a big art piece to anchor the room. It looked beautiful, client was happy & I was relieved to say the least. I learnt a lot from that experience, I learnt that you always need a back up plan- even if it’s not as good as the original- have other options in place. I also learnt that self adhesive wallpaper sucks & wallpaper needs to be applied by a professional while you sit back like a snob pointing your finger, saying “there shall be no air bubbles.”

One of my really good choices,

This was a repeat job for a client, so that made the process much easier. I knew what she liked, I knew what her budget was and she was open and eager to my ideas which is SO important in creating a good space. The goal was to create a guestroom that felt cozy and welcoming. The room had a lot of neutrals with a ton of textures to keep things interesting. Metallic bed, linen curtains, wood side table, pottery pieces used as accessories & a lot of greenery. This client of mine also happened to be amazing at scouring Craig’s list or eBay for quality pieces at a better price. I’m a big fan of mixing high & low and usually stayed quite reserved when buying pieces for this client; but with this room I found a statement piece (the bed) that was a splurge. Generally I don’t push clients to spend unless they’re comfortable with it but this time I nudged a little, a lot, until she agreed – and we were both thrilled with the end result. The whole room was elevated because of that bed, from the rug to the drapes to the table lamp. Everything about that room felt beautiful, cozy and peaceful. This job was also one of my better ones because I felt really confident which helped me come into my own, style wise. The decisions for the room felt true to the clients’ needs and felt true to who I was and the design elements that inspire me. I believe every designer has an element they bring to their work –  a good designer is always able to accommodate many different styles – but a designer always brings a certain amount of themselves to a job. This job really honed in on what I bring to my jobs, which taught me a lot.

There are so many other examples that have challenged me, taught me, pushed me and inspired me. I’ve loved jobs, I’ve dreaded jobs, I’ve succeed with many & could have done better with probably all of them. I am so happy and lucky to be doing this and I am excited to be CW_Design on Instagram – let’s see what happens next.

Right now the most dominant thought going through my mind is what you’re all thinking. “Why did she need to write a whole post about feeling insecure.. a quick announcement about the new logo would have been sufficient.” Some of you might not have even finished it, which is OK, I spoke my truth and that’s all that matters. For the record, my therapist says eventually I will start believing that.

I want to give a shout out to the graphic designer who helped with my new logo- @chanabcohen- so talented and so good at what she does!

Formal and Comfort DO Work

“Good afternoon everyone, my name is Chana, people call me Dr. Design, I’m a designer & I make people feel better about themselves. Join me as I blog my way through Monday.”

(I took the above quote from a mildly well known plastic surgeon whose wife was my client for this lovely job.)

We all love make overs because they’re the best. You get to watch ugly rooms turn into beautiful rooms. You get to watch rooms reach their full potential and it’s magical. I will admit I live vicariously through my rooms. If one of my rooms is living up to its potential, I feel like I am living up to my potential but then I look down and realize I’m wearing leggings & sneakers and haven’t worked out in weeks, oopsy. While I’m sharing with you, I will say when transforming a space for a client I feel like I am breathing new life into their space and as a result into them. They now feel more content about the space they live in and are happier. Some people have called me a savior but I feel like that’s probably a stretch. I would say I’m more like a Messiah, delivering people from internal misery through design. But I don’t like to restrict myself with labels so let’s stick with designer who also provides a spiritual experience, or something like that.

So a while back I posted part of this home and you can find that over here.  Be prepared to gain a lot of knowledge and insight.

So let’s get started

A lot of people think having a formal space in their home is not a real option if you want the space to also feel comfortable and to them I say a big,  trump “wrong.” A beautiful,  more sophisticated room can and should be comfortable as well.  The trick to achieving this is choosing pieces that are durable (leathers,  polyester based fabrics) and more seating less accessories.  When creating a formal room that also needs to function with kids I tell clients to focus their attention on interesting furniture pieces.  For example,  invest in a beautiful floor plant rather than throw pillows. Invest in pretty pictures or art rather than cute vases. Invest in a rug over beautiful table lamps. That way you’re creating a space that feels more “adult” and is still kid friendly, kind of.

My two most important tips are

  • Choose a strong wall color that will make an impression.
  • All fabrics are ok as long as you treat /scotch guard them before any small hands get anywhere near them. And when splurging on velvet- get a polyester based velvet because almost anything can be taken out of a polyester velvet.

Look I gave you three tips , not two. I’m amazing.

This was the starting point, I just want to point out, I’m including “before” pictures to get more compliments on my work and for no other reason.

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This space is the official formal living room used mostly over the weekend when entertaining and a room that is only slightly welcoming to kids. It’s welcoming to kids the same way my husband listens to me talking. He’ll nod and say “right” over and over again but hes’s refreshed his phone so many times, his own thumb stopped scrolling, looked at him and said “really man?”

Goals for the room:

  • Add Color
  • Add more seating
  • Update the style- more modern, fresh
  • Find a better way to showcase art
  • New window treatments
  • Area Rug
  • Want the space to feel more welcoming over all

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Here’s where I started

Take One-

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I loved this color color/ style combination. I wanted the space to feel more alive without being overwhelming. However for the client this felt too edgy, it was in the right direction but the emerald green was a lot riskier than she wanted.

Take Two-

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We both loved this one. This felt updated while also being traditional. The client felt like it properly expressed her style and what she wanted, in the end we only made slight changes,

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I switched in the emerald green for the mint green. I was in love with the color combination of blues + greens, the client was ok with it (I’m completely kidding, my one and only priority is always the client) – did that sound convincing?

In the end, the dark grey, mint green and pops of blues were the perfect combination and really elevated the whole room.

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The plan was originally to put the wallpaper on this wall behind the mirror to  make this wall the one big WOW moment. Once the mirror was up and wallpaper came in, the wallpaper was just way too busy & distracting for this wall so instead we found another solution. Before plastering it all over the wall, we changed our course and found a new spot for this wallpaper.

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I am so happy with the way it all turned out. Even though I didn’t plan for it, I am so thrilled with the way it looks combined with the blue gallery wall. Sometimes planning for something, waiting for it to be delivered, seeing that it doesn’t work, calling your husband while having a panic attack, pretending you have it under control in front of the client, and then coming up with a new plan is so awesome.

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What is your towel doing for you

We all have them and use them daily. The good, the bad, the old, the new – when it comes to towels, we need & use them in abundance. In the past I have under estimated the power of a good absorbent towel, towels are all the same right?  No Chana, you’ve had it wrong this whole time (followed by 2 days of self hatred.)

Putting aside the practical side of a good towel for a moment, a good towel can really elevate a bathroom or bedroom space. I know in the past whenever I’ve hosted guests, giving them old towels I inherited from my husbands first apartment, took away from their enjoyment of simple every day pleasures – like taking a shower. And no as a result they didn’t have a shorter stay.

I recently got myself some new towels and I’ve been loving them. They’re big, luxurious and super absorbent. So throughout the week I just snapped a few pictures here and there to show how even in every day  messy living, a luxurious towel still pulls it off.

A picture of the towels on the my couch after bring used –

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I forgot, I have two munchkins running around the house, so here’s the other towel draped somewhere he deemed logical –

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We used the beach towels recently on a trip to the pool –

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All towels shown are from @thetowelfactory, check them out if you haven’t already done so (live under a rock much?) I’m sorry, that was low.

 

 

Noam and myself approve this message

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Nam Dang Mitchell

Nam Dang Mitchell – if you haven’t heard of her let me give you the run down. She’s this beautiful, awesome interior designer who kills every room she designs. Her rooms are strong, simple, modern and interesting. I gave her a shout out back in the day and the best part was that she actually responded to me (best day ever) you can check it out here or skip it and continue reading.

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This is her lounging around in her studio uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, could she be any cooler? Maybe if George Clooney was in the shot and even then it’s debatable.

 

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A living space she designed and then hung around to take pictures in, so now anyone who sits in that living space will forever feel unworthy and less of a person because of that. I know one of the many reasons you come and read my blog is for my upbeat and positive perspective. Don’t think it’s not appreciated.

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A kitchen she recently finished (featured in House & home) I don’t need to describe this picture.

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This entry way vignette is perfect. There’s varying heights and finishes to keep things alive. The reason I love it so much is because that console table is from Crate and Barrel and I used that console table in one of my projects 3 years ago. I chose the same console table as one of my favorite designers so we’re basically the same person so I basically just inherited all her success – go me.

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You see? The same, we’re basically the same.

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I’m going to end off with this picture because it perfectly sums up Nam Dang Mitchell and why I love her. Check her out here. And every time you get any happiness or inspiration from her work, reach out and thank me. Yes every time.

Hello Modern Traditional

Before I start the ‘make over’ post, I would like to say that I have loved this job from the beginning to now (it’s not over yet). The client has been a pleasure, giving me her trust to completely change everything in her house. I know that’s really hard for people to do, to let go and let someone take control of their intimate space that they call home; having said that you all should let me take control because I promise its worth it in the end. I do an amazing job and I do mean to sound conceited.

When I walked into this home, my first thought was “wow there’s so much potential.” The house has a ton of natural light, tall ceilings & it just needed a new updated look without losing its roots. And what I mean by that is I wanted the space to feel more modern without losing its tradition.

The family room; the room everyone hangs out in, where all the lounging happens, talking happens, eating happens, chewing too loudly happens (this is a very real and common problem and it needs to stop), the general space where people act like people (yuck) so this room needed to be first and foremost – comfortable and durable.

So here was my starting point for the family room;

So we’ve seen the starting point, and because I like this client, I’m not going to spend too much time on what doesn’t work and what is borderline offensive. We’re going to move along to what I needed to do to give the space some style that felt family friendly, modern and hold the test of time (that’s the scariest one for a me as a designer. I want my client to be able to live in a space I created for as long as they desire – so that would be forever).

Five Areas to Improve;

  • Replace sectional with another sectional or just another couch
  • Coffee table to anchor the room
  • New lighting new lighting new lighting, did I mention new lighting?
  • Add shades for texture- and yay it also happens to be practical
  • Area rug

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This is a mood board I created for the new direction of the family room. The base is neutral with pops of grey, wood and blue. The secret for me is to have loads of texture, I need a space to literally feel very inviting. A good space is a space people never want to leave and you achieve this by adding lots and lots of texture. I do this through the rug, throw pillows, woven/ textured blinds, wood finishes etc. I like to constantly mix different materials – and yes you can absolutely mix gold with silver.

My guy Willie transforming the walls from blah to the perfect grey with hints of purple, we all know that’s the best and most flattering gray.

My thought process behind painting the ceiling was pretty simple, I thought “that would look awesome!” Going beyond that, I did it to achieve a space that’s a little more intimate and cozy in an otherwise very light and open room. So I decided on a deeper color for the feature on the ceiling. It also plays as a good back drop for the light fixture.

The first progress snapshot is always exciting, I can breath a small sigh of relief knowing that it’s all coming together, looks good and I’m not just crazy. This was taken after the paint was done on the walls and ceiling, the couch was in and lighting installed.

At this point I make my way to West Elm because they’re my fail proof way for accessorizing any room. I cannot contain my happiness when I’m in this store, everything is sooo pretty and if I could I would buy every item for myself and proceed to mark the items up by 100%  if a client should ever need something thus guaranteeing myself all rights to everything West Elm. Even as I’m typing it, I feel like I sound reasonable.

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So the blinds are in and they are perfect. They’re clean and functional for the space. The coffee table arrived and it’s beautiful- everything is finished except for this one thing>

The bookshelf, it’s still here, it hasn’t gone anywhere. It hasn’t gotten the memo that it is very much UN welcome in this new space. I brought someone in to custom make a bookshelf and stain it the same color as the walls to lighten everything up; so my client and I were anxiously awaiting the day for it to be installed… that day finally arrived on a breezy morning here in Miami, mid February.

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Do you remember this guy rocking the khaki shorts? I wanted to give him a second feature.

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This is me taking pictures while they installed the shelves- which were AWESOME- what a relief. It’s never a good thing when a client trusts you to make the right decision for their home and then you don’t, so this was turning out to be a good day.

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So this is it, so beautiful and perfect yet still not finished. They need to come back to install the doors at the bottom (for those of you who felt like it was a little overwhelming to have so many shelves- good eye and I hope you don’t pursue a career in design because that’s my jam and I’m terrible at sharing.) The plan from the start was to have cabinets at the bottom for games, blankets and other miscellaneous things that are not books and don’t look pretty- like most things we all have. They will be ready in about a week and I’m really excited about it because  I ordered these pulls that honestly might not make their way to the client.

I wanted to wait to post this make over until the bookshelves were completely done but it’s taking a little longer than expected and I also just really want to share it with you all. So while reading all my informative, funny content and looking at all the beautiful, well taken photos have in mind there’s still some more to come and that thought alone should lull you to sleep peacefully tonight.

A slideshow of the makeover to refresh your memory because this was a really long post;

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Welcome to Surfside

We moved into a home this past April and it’s been as exciting as you would think it would be. It’s a privilege in ones life to buy a home and I feel honored and Blessed to experience it. The process has been enjoyable, except for the time my handyman told me I can’t replace the load bearing pillars with gold. Those moments haven’t been so fun for me.
I wanted to share this experience and transformation with you all because what kind of designer would I be if not?
The happy trio making their into the new place.

 

This picture was taken a few minutes after I received the keys to our new house, I waited until the realtor and agent left before I took this selfie. For those who spend a lot of time with me, now you know I can make this face.

 

The first two weeks in the house looked like this;

I know, I told myself to breathe in before, during and after I took this picture. On the one hand I wanted to take my time with unpacking to make sure I was putting everything in the right place but on the other hand my mindfulness with unpacking quickly turned into me idly standing around like Leonardo DiCaprio at the Oscars. Did I just say that? Every decision started to make my head hurt. I needed someone to physically come over, take things out of boxes and saying “Chana, I think milk belongs in the fridge.” And this someone knows who she is- thank you!

 

My mornings were not easy for me because this is what the route to my coffee looked like. I don’t do well before my coffee when I’m vacationing so this was a challenge for me.

Now lets go through the process of finding the color scheme/vibe for the house. I wanted it to feel comfortable and inviting, at the same time I wanted to enhance the mid century bones the house already had. I consider myself so lucky to have found a space that really speaks my language. I love the warmth of mid century design, I’ve always been drawn to that era’s shapes and style. As a designer, I use this process for my clients and never really thought I would use it for myself. As it turns out, designer or not, we all need a guide.

My process of inspiration;

 

 

 

I love muted colors, organic shapes and lots and lots of textures. As I started to capture what inspired me it became much easier to start putting it all together.

Then came the inspiration board;

And so started the paint process, you know the fun part of painting when you spend tons of money and time on itty bitty samples of paint. But there’s a goal and it’s to find your perfect color, which I did.

How can I not include this picture, it’s so attractive. I know this part of the paint process might scare people because it’s so hard to look at, but you need to do it. Paint looks completely different on the wall than it does on the chip. It also looks different on the wall during the day and during the night. Furniture, lighting and art are all things to take into account when finding the perfect color. Getting paint samples is a must!!

One of the big questions when we moved in was to “paint the brick or not paint the brick.” I was on the “paint the brick” train from the start but I waited until we were moved in for 2 weeks to pull the trigger. I don’t think in every case brick should be painted, in my case I felt very strongly about connecting the house through colors so for me, painting the brick felt right.

Now it’s time to welcome you all in as I will  show you the before’s and after’s of the house.

(Disclaimer, there’s still a lot of changes I would like to make to the house so please take that into considerationwhen looking at these pictures. If I waited for it to be perfect, I would never post.)

Here’s the entrance untouched, this is one of the better shots because my hunk of a son in the shot.

 

First came the paint
Then came the metallics and greenery

 

This is the first living area in the house, it’s full of character and space.

The after

Some not so flattering features of the house- we all have our flaws and this one’s made of green textured glass ‘Ew’ -said like Jimmy Fallon.

Temporary solution for the all the green-ness was bookshelves in front. And there’s no space of mine without a cowhide. It adds so much texture and it works ANYWHERE.

In order to create two spaces in one area, I divided the room. The office area on one side and the TV area on the other; by creating separate zones, the space feels bigger and functions more efficiently.

 

The wood wall that had me at hello, I talk to walls when they’re made of wood.

 

Turned it into backdrop for a gallery wall.

A space needs to evoke all senses in order for you to truly experience a room; I like to make my candles feel very cozy.

Another view of the same room

I added sheer curtains to give it some depth without taking away the light.

 

 

The dining room is more of a big area off the kitchen that can also double over as another living space. The lighting in this room is perfect during the day because of all the windows and then at night we have this pineapple shaped chandelier that keeps us smiling.

 

The other side

 

The after, I know the after looks a lot like the before because we’ve only added drapes and a table, but we’ll get there.

 

 

I wanted this area to feel light open as well as inviting. I did that by sticking to strong neutrals and lots of layering to get that lived in feel.
With most good things, it’s usually coupled with a little sadness. We said good bye to the apartment that gave us so many good moments and memories. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, Eliana and Noam both took their first steps here, they both also had their first tantrums here. Thank you for the beautiful times, we will never forget you, although I’m not promising anything.
On to the next chapter,

Interpret Style

For those of you worried that I stopped blogging, you can stop because I am still here. I figured since I officially have two followers the lack of posts wouldn’t cause too much distress. Before I post about my recent projects, yes that’s projects with an ‘s’- there has been more than one, I wanted to go back to a classic- which is interpreting the style of awesome ladies into interior spaces.

 

I don’t want to focus on her bony chest but I definitely want to point it out……………………… I love the soft pink cashmere sweater paired with the loose, white skirt- that also has pom poms. This is an easy outfit that’s free and organic. The gold bracelet is the only thing that has form and sharp edges so I think it’s a perfect accessory for this outfit. And those sunglasses are very cool, they tell us she’s the type who can go to an Ultra concert but knows the difference between a human and a tree.

This would be where she finds solitude and gets some work done. The form of the fiddle leaf tree in the background is so beautiful and I love how the lamp mimics that shape. The black and brass chair grounds the corner with the Lucite chairs and white cowhides. Then there’s the wallpaper and light fixture. The wallpaper is awesome and I’m still not sure how I feel about that caged light bulb. A part of me thinks it’s beautiful and the other part tells me I should try and help.

I love those overalls with the leather jacket wrapped around her hips; She has a very down-to-earth tomboy vibe. The vintage camera she’s sporting tells us she likes a good mix of old and new. And anyone who likes a good mix knows good design.

 

This vignette would definitely be part of her home. Its collected, a little messy and beautifully eclectic. Anyone who has a naked sculpture of a woman in blue is either crazy or has an eye for art. I’m going with ‘an eye for art’ because that sculpture is pretty amazing. I love how this little area breaks all the ‘rules’ so perfectly.

 

 

What’s worse than one awesomely dressed woman?Yes, two of them. Although I have to admit I like the woman on the left with the sweatshirt and blue and white pants. She looks more effortless and comfortable. Her friend looks cool, a little house on the prairie for me but I still like it. These two women combine classic, traditional with modern ease.

This is what their shared space would look like. This room is very traditional for the most part but feels current because of the color choices. The neoclassic chair, the skirted ottoman and plush chairs would usually feel dated in other surroundings but with the chandelier and the dark painted side room this space feels modern.

This woman is bohemian, grungy, minimal, chic and all of the above. I love the way she looks. I even like how easy going she is about hailing a cab. Is it just me or does the woman behind her on the left look really annoyed? Nobody asked her to put on a Parker puff jacket…..

This would be her space because it’s all of the above. It’s sophisticated, laid back, modern and has a little boho spirit. All the color is coming from flowers, art or lemons. The foundation of the room is minimal and timeless- just the way I like it. The light fixture is also just the way I like it, grouped together in different sizes and at different lengths. #failproof.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on beautiful transformations. I’m excited. Even when I’m excited I don’t use exclamation marks, it’s too much of a commitment.

Men are from Mars, Women are Better

Once upon a time a man and woman fell in love and decided to live together forever under the same roof. One day, the woman came home and found a small mountain of nail clippings on the coffee table and asked herself, “Did I think I was living with a human and in reality he’s an ape?” The man later explained he intended to throw the nails away when the play-offs were over. And so begins the wonderful journey…..
For any space it’s important to create the right balance between colors and shapes; even more so when working with a couple. When men and women join parties it’s a difficult task to show both perspectives in their shared space. He wants a fish tank that runs across the whole wall and she wants lots of frames with pictures where she looks good and he looks really cute (fat.) A tip for the ladies: it’s best to let him think he’s part of the design process like when he comes up with the idea of built in cup holders in the arm rests, nod your head in agreement and then do the exact opposite.

Here are some examples of a spaces working for couples living together;

This space blends both interests together seamlessly. The color palette is neutral and soft, the shapes are varied from severe to curved and it’s not over accessorized. Had those womb chairs been darker it would have felt more grounded and masculine. The drapes in the background also add softness.

Again this is a more neutral color palette but the neutrals are darker. The sofa and arm chair are very masculine in their shape so the throw and pillows tossed around work well to soften it. The different sized bowls and flowers on the coffee table bring in femininity and so does the rug; it’s a strong pattern with a very soft texture. The core pieces in this room are very dominant so accessorizing becomes the balance of the room.

This is another example of a balanced space, it does lean a little more to the feminine side with the zebra ottoman and that sculpture light fixture. With the rug, walnut wood chair, muted colors and simple architecture, the room works nicely together.

Here are examples of spaces working for just the women:

This room is really pretty, warm, layered and welcoming; to most people besides men. There are way too many blush tones in this room for a man to feel comfortable with. It would take one time for the guy to stand up from the couch and knock his head into that petite dollhouse-like chandelier.
For a guy to live in this room, it would be like him saying he likes it when women wear harem pants;

Ladies think this is the hottest coolest thing right now, the men on the other hand think we should keep these pants in the Disney movie ‘Aladdin’ where they belong.

I love this little vignette, it’s almost like a period piece. This delicate corner has everything on the feminine check list;
-the floral wallpaper
-the crystal chandelier
-the vintage shaped mirror, that’s hanging from a ribbon
-the ‘flea-market-feel’ chair and table
-framed butterflies
This vignette leaves women lingering and men running.

Here are some spaces that work well for the men:

I think a man should be scared to bring a woman into this room, within days there would be an area rug, the pillows would slowly become smaller and fluffier and there would be a bunch of little things on the coffee table leaving no room for anything practical.

I happen to appreciate the simplicity of this bedroom but I don’t know if other women would share my opinion. Maybe it’s the lack of color or the vastly empty brick wall, but this bedroom needs a little TLC from a woman.

This bedroom is done really well. The blues, camels and light greys are all more masculine but with all the fabric and textures it brings in the feminine. The walls are padded, there’s wall to wall carpeting, the drapes are full, the throw on the bed looks luxurious and the stools outside with the white pendant by the bed bring in all the softness the room needs for a perfect coupling. Jeff Andrews was the creator of this room. He is one of my favorite designers, if you request it, I can write a whole post on him 🙂
Just make a request in one of the many comments you plan on writing…. yes that’s a hint.